Monday, May 26, 2008

One of the recurring themes in the dreams is that I am the person who "exposes" or hurts someone else. In one, I said something very loud about a wife and her boyfriend. I said this as I was walking down a hall. I didn't realize her husband was inside the kitchen off the hall until it was too late. I was mad at her, but I didn't want to expose her or hurt her husband's feelings. I also have no idea why I was even involved.

In another dream, I was in my parents' front yard at the old house in South Carolina. All these children -- mostly middle school students, boys and girls in plain clothing -- were in the yard playing. Somehow, a game started that required all of us to stand on one another's shoulders -- not in pairs but one person on top of another up and up and up. There most have been twenty of us standing on top of one another. I was the second person from the top. It was very high, and I was very afraid of falling. I wanted to get down, but I had some anxiety about asking -- the feeling was like an amplified version of needing to ask the people next to you in a theater to get up so you can exit the aisle and go to the bathroom. But finally I asked to get down. I scaled down the ladder of kids and back to the grass. I went inside the house and up to my old bedroom. I looked out the window and I saw the boy at the top of the tower of children fall. He fell face down, down, down. Everybody fell. But only the boy who'd been at the top died. It was a terrible accident, everyone said. Nobody connected my exit to his demise, but in my heart, I felt responsible. If I had bore out my discomfort, perhaps the boy would still be alive. But if I hadn't gotten down, perhaps I'd be dead too. The feeling was so terrible and complicated that I woke up.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

poetry and divination demonstration

I make a found poem/forecast using a parts of speech die and a book:

I am experimenting with the form of the "how to" video. This is my first one. It has problems. 1.) it is blurry 2.)it is upside down 3.) I didn't list the step where you write the words out *in the order in which they appear in the poem* 4.) most of the video is upside down.


I'm thinking of making one of these each week as a "poetry forecast" sort of thing. I'm going to try and re-shoot the vid tonight.

Here is a transcript of the poem (and yes, I really used bibliomancy and cleromancy to make this poem/forecast).

from Barbara Guest's "Green Revolution"

might be

poetry locketbooks and poetry charms in the making

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

the poem dress and the letter tree

In the dream last night there were many clothes and many dirty clothes. At one point, sequestered in what was my own little attic room in a massive house belonging to my parents, I had to write a poem a day, but I did not have paper and so I had to write these poems on a dress. The dress was a thick blue cotton (almost linen) and I was writing with a blue ball point pen, and so I had to press hard to make the ink flow onto the fabric. I was in a hurry and when the words were not very dark, I thought, "oh, I will be able to read them later, but they will not be what I think they are in this moment," and then I lamented that I am often lazy and rushed if an idea comes to me when I am in the midst of some other activity (or falling asleep) and I imagine (lazily) that I will remember what I was thinking and nothing will be lost. But it always is.

The other part of the dream was that it was before my sister's wedding. Although my sister's wedding was over a month ago, I dream about it often. In the dreams I do not know what to wear or my dress is dirty or there is a second wedding and I can't wear the same dress twice. There is often a closet filled with clothes that no longer fit or are not really appropriate for the occasion. Last night, I was busy unloading a car before the before-the-wedding party. E was there (her wedding is soon) and A and B and C (though they were late). For some reason, even though it wasn't *my* wedding, my mother had asked all my friends to write letters to me. She told them that letters meant more to me than anything else, and so the best thing they could give me would be a letter. My mother had filed all the letters in clear plastic sleeves (page protectors) and strung them in a tree. So the tree by the garage was full of these lovely letters sheathed in plastic and fluttering from their strings.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Reading and Catharsis

Books often make me cry. This has always been true. When I was a kid, I cried for days after reading Where the Red Fern Grows. I cried after reading Bridge to Terrabithia. I cried after reading The Red Pony. I cried after reading Death Be Not Proud. I cried after reading Flowers for Algernon. And books continue to make me cry. I often read these tear-jerkers in the same way: I read them straight through, without much stopping, often staying up all night. Then I think about the book obsessively for two or three days. Then I go back to "normal." Sometimes, such as when I'm on break during summer vacation, I will read many books that make me cry back-to-back. I do not feel lonely, only quiet, still, like I'm resting. Like I'm taking a big breath before I go under.

Monday, May 05, 2008

other air

today it is like something they call "may gray." May gray is sometimes followed by "june gloom." What happens is the marine layer (cool moist air) comes in off the ocean and sort of sits like thin pillows along the lower hanging part of the sky. It does not rain. The pillows are not really the same color as clouds -- they are "other air" or air from somewhere else. They smell of the sea but not the smell that you smell at the beach (which is really, the smell of the beach -- that is the shore, that is the space where water and land meet) but rather the smell of blue distance that isn't salted and rotted as beach air sometimes is. The channel now is full of whales; I saw some when I went to santa cruz island. I've heard that the "blow" from their blow hole often smells of krill, but their trachea and esophagus are not connected, so how does their breath smell of what they've eaten? is it somehow in their blood?

Sunday, May 04, 2008

I retired the April poems. Maybe you'll see them again sometime.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

May Day

Today I hit my head on a tree branch because I was chasing a duck. The duck was new and frightened, and when the gate swung open and offered a moment of escape, she bolted. I chased her around the large yard. We made several laps. J was shouting, "grab her neck!", but I was too timid. I am always afraid that I will hurt a bird. Or even if I am not worried about causing injury, I worry about causing distress. It must be frightening to be grabbed swiftly by the neck and then enfolded in a human's arms.

I have been thinking about humaness. Not humanity, but rather the characteristics of a "human." We went to LACMA to see the new contemporary art wing and the "Sightings" exhibit (both of which were really great), and I found myself hyper-aware of expressions of "humaness." It was like a series of rapid-fire disruptions (in a good way), but I was absolutely rattled and raw by the time we made it down to the bottom floor of the Broad where the two Serra sculptures made me feel utterly terrified.

After hitting my head, I thought it best to try and herd the duck back into the enclosure rather than continue trying to catch her. After many more laps around the yard, she tentatively waddled into the grassy, fenced area. J scooped her up, and we both gently parted her wings so we could inspect her back, which was featherless and appeared to be injured. The area was dark with scabs -- a large one in the middle and then a scattering out to the side. What did this? Another bird? A human? J held her while I applied a few drops of colloidal silver to her skin. Then we put her on the grass and it was time for me to go home and shower and ready myself for the next part of my day.
is this real?